My New Mash Tun, AKA the Little Construction Project

Monday, February 04, 2008

Well my little construction job is quite a bit smaller than Smitty's. Here's all it is:

Just the stuff in the foreground. The stuff back in the corner is an extra spigot and new seals for my kegs.

This is about as simple of of a Mash Tun as you can make. It takes a short piece of 3/8" OD copper tube, A drilled rubber stopper, A hose clamp (or two to your desire), a length of 3/8" ID hosing, and the steel braid off of a toilet water supply hose, and of course the cooler, which happens to be one of those el-cheapo Igoo Ice Cube 48qt coolers, which I scored on sale for about $15. I'm not even going to go into all the steps to build one, because you can read all about it at "Paul's Brewing Page". There is one "limitation" to this super-simple mash tun design, and that's that I can only really do a Batch Sparge. I won't even get into the nitty gritty of that either because you can read all about it on Denny's Cheap and Easy Batch Sparge Brewing. I'm not actually even officially done yet... The first time I drilled out the spigot hole on the cooler I was doing it by hand, and I have an un-circle hole. It's not going to hold water. So I'm headin' over to a friends house this week to use his drill press to make damn well sure that my hole is true! I'll report back with a full pictumentary (I just made that up, but I like it) of my first all-grain beer along with pictures of the completed Mash Tun.

So to sum up, I ripped off a bunch of other peoples ideas, spent about 10 minutes and $30, and I'm not even done yet. Time for another beer!


Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 8:34 PM  

I have a small drill press and will drill for beer.

Smitty 11:42 PM  

Awesome contraption, sopor.

Sopor 6:52 AM  

Thanks Bob, unfortunately the friend with a drill press also has my case of Michigan Brewing Company beer!

the infamous roger 10:56 AM  

I sued the same cooler for a long time.

Be forewarned about the stopper: after a few batches it may want to wiggle loose. Hot wort on your feet burns. And it is sticky.

After about 10 batches with the stopper I switched to a cooler bulkhead with ball valve.

Sopor 11:59 AM  

Roger, What did the poor cooler do to you to deserve to be sued?!?

Do you have some pics of your bulkhead/valve that we could see? I would love to see how you've improved on this for when I need to improve mine! I've seen the bulkheads, I just want to know how you've put it all together.

the infamous roger 3:22 PM  

Well, Sopor, I spilled a bit of the mash on myself when the rubber stopper popped out. The cooler had no warning label indicating that the contents might be hot, so I did the thing anybody else would have done in my place: I called my lawyer.

The bulkhead I use consists of a 1/2 full-port stainless ball valve (bronze or brass is OK, too), a stainless 1/2"ID x 2.5"L nipple, a 1/2"ID SS full coupler, two SS washers, two silicone gaskets, and two SS 1/2" hose barbs.

You can check it out on or a similar unit on

Northern Brewer is probably more convenient for those in Michigan.

the infamous roger 3:25 PM  

Weldless Kits:

Northern Brewer:

Sopor 3:48 PM  

One last silly question for ya Roger, what way was the stopper put in? From the inside, or from the outside? (Does it make a difference?)

the infamous roger 6:57 PM  

It don't think it matters, but I'm pretty sure I had the stopper on the inside of the cooler.

If the stopper pops out I think it might be easier to jam the stopper back in from the outside.

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